White House watches The Daily Show


Somebody at 1600 Pennsylvania is keeping tabs on what goes on at Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. White House webmaster Macon Phillips posted a blog entry to correct comments made on the program by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Phillips is the administration’s Director of New Media, with oversight of whitehouse.gov occupying the prominent position on his job description.

The exchange in question between Gingrich and host Jon Steward concerned the Christmas Day terrorist, and whether or not he should have had his Miranda rights read to him. Gingrich said no. Stewart asked why this situation should be handled any differently than the way the Bush administration handled would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid, who WAS read his rights.

“Richard Reid was an American citizen,” responded Gingrich.

Phillips wrote, “While Mr. Gingrich is certainly entitled to his opinions, he isn’t entitled to his own facts.” He then pointed out that Reid is in fact a British citizen, not an American. “The same critics who are trying to score political points off of the failed Christmas Day attack today were silent when Reid was handled in the same way.”

Further, Phillips noted, reading Reid his rights did nothing to prevent him from receiving imprisonment for life from the US court system in a Supermax prison.